Who Ever Loved That Loved Not At First Sight
It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should love, the other win;
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows; let it suffice
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?
-Christopher Marlowe, 1564-93
Love at first sight.
Cynics would probably tell you that there is no such thing. It's already hard enough to fall in love with someone you already know a little bit. How much more with a complete stranger?
For great romantics like Marlowe, Shakespeare and I (yes, I really did just put the three of us together), it could happen because well, it's written in the stars. Or at least that's the idea here.
The poem tells us that fate overrules our will—that what is meant to be will take place long before we recognize the destiny set upon us. That a part of our soul recognizes the other before our logic can even begin to process the bits and pieces of reasoning as to why we are attracted to this person and why we feel the way we do about them.
As a romantic writer, I'm ironically logical. Sometimes, I seek to justify why someone could feel a certain way about a person and yes, dicing it into facts takes away the magical quality from it but what I always find is that no matter how long a list I make as to why Girl loves Boy and vice versa, the very origin of the whole thing comes back to the simple fact that they are just meant to be (at least in my world).
Although I don't believe in soul mates, I do give credit to that instinct we feel when the person is just right. It clicks in. I know, it's a line from the movies but I know exactly what it means because I've experienced it myself. All the other issues that you just couldn't figure out with the last person seem so effortless and natural when the right one comes along. It doesn't promise to be perfect but it makes things easier and most importantly, it makes everything worth it.
No one expects to run into someone and fact sheets drop on them—yes, this is your destined mate, no questions asked—I don't believe that's the point here.
It will not always hit you clear-eyed. All that it means here, I think, is a sense of precognition that there is something to this person and to this meeting that go somewhere very meaningful and precious and that's what makes you take the next step. As to whether you actually eventually get there or not is a combination of circumstances and our own decisions about our fears, hopes and dreams.